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Behavior Course

Essay by   •  October 23, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  1,955 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,117 Views

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For the Consumer Behavior course, we were assigned to do an individual report on what behavior would we like to change in ourselves in order to reduce waste disposal in our society.

After many thoughts on what could I change in the world, because I have always hear that we should "be the change that we want to see in the world" , my resolution for this course, and throughout my life, because in my opinion, a change with environmental impact should be forever and not only for a trimestral course, is to stop throwing cigarette's butts onto the street instead of keep them and then put them in the basket bin or in the street's ashtrays properly created to this situation.

I have chosen this behavior due to several reasons besides being a horrible and nasty habit, which, in my opinion, is unjustified in the 21st Century, where people should be civilized and have plenty information on what harm can these cigarettes' points do to our planet.

Studies have shown that cigarette butts are the most commonly discarded piece of waste worldwide. It is estimated that 1.69 BILLION pounds of butts wind up as toxic trash each year, creating an enormous environmental, health, and economic burden.

Contrary to popular belief, cigarette butts are not biodegradable! Cigarette butt waste is a huge environmental issue, with a global impact, it is both unsightly and unhealthy .

Moreover, it is also dangerous. Studies had also shown that cigarette butts, due to being thrown away without any specific location, one-third of children who had ingested cigarette butts showed symptoms of illness such as spontaneous vomiting, nausea, lethargy, gagging, and flushing. Another reason that came to my mind for the decision of this resolution it is also the fact that cigarette butts leach toxins into the water and kill or injure various forms of wildlife. In addition, fish, birds, whales and other marine animals can ingest the plastic parts of cigarette butts.

This issue also affects beaches worldwide, due to the fact that cigarettes' butts are the most frequent items collected in the beaches, during the groups' beach cleanups, according to Surfrider Foundation .

I intend to carry on this resolution through my life, because the difficult part is the beginning, to break the habit of, without thinking, throwing cigarettes' butts onto the floor and as mentioned before, resolutions such as these ones, whom have environmental impact, can not be for a period of time, moreover in this case, where we're talking about waste disposal and how can we reduce it. The pillar of a resolution as this one, it is sustainability otherwise; it would all be in vain.

On a theoretical perspective, we should analyze how behavior relates with Perception, Learning, Motivation and Attitude, in order to better understand the impact that my resolution will have.

Starting with perception we can never forget that "perception is the process by which stimulus are selected, organized and interpreted focusing only on what we add to or take away from sensations which we can give them some meaning.

There is a strong link between behavior and perception because it is known that people often act, as they perceive and that many behaviors are drawn from what someone perceived of another element, (e.g. A small children that always sees his/her parents tipping restaurants' waiters is very likely to tip them in the future). Linking this theory with my resolution, hopefully some of my friends will copy or follow me and will stop throwing their cigarettes' butts after watching my new behavior due to the fact that perception of observables might activate specific behavioral patterns of third parties, aiming in the long-run to have my behavior "copied" by all of my NOVA colleagues.

It is known that perception is formed by three phases being them exposure, attention and the most important concept of all, interpretation . With this, in order to expose this behavior some sort of billboards and flyers with pictures of the arms (mentioned above) that cigarettes' butts can do, people would get more exposed to it and they would reach our second stage when their attention would be captured hoping that they would start to make an effort not to pollute, after interpreting what they can do in order to be more eco-friendly.

Our second topic is learning and it refers to a relatively permanent change in behavior, which comes with experience and (...) we can learn vicariously by observing events that affect others which comes to reinforce the purpose of this report, by giving us a challenge to change a specific behavior.

There are two types of learning that help us better understand behavioral changes. The first learning's type we should focus on is cognitive learning that is nothing more than a result of a mental process. This perspective "views people as problem-solvers who actively use information from the world around them to master their environment" stating that creative and insight play a role in this learning process.

Observational learning occurs when people watch the actions of others and note the reinforcements they receive for their behaviors . For example, observational learning takes place when the consumer performs a behavior as a result of seeing some- one else performing it and being rewarded for it . Here, people store these observations in memory as they accumulate knowledge, perhaps using this information at a later point to guide their own behaviors. This is called modeling, which is the process of imitating the behavior of others. Therefore, shifting to my resolution, observational learning is the key of behavioral changes (see exhibit 1) because with the right exposure and with what people can learn from others' experience maybe we can start to have a segment of aware people which from now on, after smoking a cigarette, will go to the near ashtray and will throw there their cigarette's butt, creating,



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